7 Jul 2015

EPA rules protect from toxic sprays

6:33 am on 7 July 2015

The Environmental Protection Authority says new rules that restrict sales will better protect people and the environment from highly toxic insecticides.

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Photo: 123RF

From this month, only specially qualified people will be able to buy many of the organophosphate and carbamate-based insecticides.

The authority said that while the insecticides played an important role in New Zealand's biosecurity and agriculture industry, they could harm the environment, and could cause health problems to people exposed to the chemicals.

In 2013, the authority reassessed 28 different active ingredients in organophosphate and carbamate-based insecticides, and introduced a range of measures to manage the risks they posed.

Ten active ingredients had their approvals revoked immediately, meaning they could no longer be imported or manufactured in New Zealand, and a further two ingredients, fenitrothion and phorate, cannot be manufactured or imported after July next year.

The EPA has also set new rules to manage the risks posed by the remaining active ingredients that it assessed, including those that can be used only by specially qualified people.

These rules would be written on the products' labels. EPA said pamphlets on Worksafe New Zealand's website explain the rules in more detail. Worksafe is in charge of enforcing compliance in workplaces.

The active ingredients covered by the new rules are: Acephate, Carbaryl, Chlorpyrifos, Dimethoate, Maldison [malathion] Oxamyl, Methomyl, Pirimicarb, Pirimphos-methyl, Diazinon, Fenamiphos, Methamidophos, Prothiofos, and Terbufos.

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